What finally made you pay for SDMB?

I am a guest here, and I admit to being tempted to subscribe with my hard-earned money. Considering the availability of free forums, I was always curious what would motivate people to actually pay for the privilge. But I must confess that a small fee does seem to produce a finer crop of conversationalists.

So my question is: what made you decide to pony up? Was it a particular thread, post, user, or did you just join right away. (I’m not fimiliar with the history of the board, so I don’t know if any users got ‘grandfathered in’ without paying.)

Hah, it’s been a while for me, (two years? I think?) but it was solely and exclusively Cafe Society. See, I grew up around non-readers entirely. And even my SO, while he reads, could and would never match the quantity and variety of books I read and have read. Here - there’s always someone who has read whatever obsucre book I have read. No matter what. And there’s always someone up for discussion, even if it’s just one person. I have never read a thread here on a book and not come away with a new view of it.

They started charging for access.

I had no choice.

DonutSprinkle – welcome! Hope you find us worthy of your $15. :wink:

The boards went pay-to-post a little over two years ago – a lot of people left then. Others (most of them marked as “charter members”) ponied up.


For me – it’s about community. This is a community of smart, interesting people – where I can discuss reality TV and the evolution of consciousness and whether my niece is an ungrateful brat for not thanking me for her HS graduation present and the possible symbolic significance of a split-level home to the post WWII generation. And hear some bad jokes. And get and offer advice on any situation a human being might encounter. And …

…ad infinitum. I’m totally hooked.

…and I’m gonna throw in something off the wall.

This is a well-moderated board. I’m one of the moderators.

While I don’t visit cyberspace that often, many of our posters do. And almost universally, they come back and report that the moderation at this board is well worth it. Yes, there are free boards out there. Some probably quite good. But the level of/lack of moderation on many boards means they are not worth your time.

If my post seems self-serving, I don’t mean it that way. Just trying to tell you what I"ve seen others say here.

Same here.

Just like a crack dealer. They offer you the first few years for free, sucker you in, and then BLAM! They start charging you for it after you’re hooked.

I decided that I didn’t want to try and replace the depth and breadth of knowledge, or the humor, that this site lets me tap into.

Absolutely. This doesn’t apply so much to new people, but I don’t think the idea of not subscribing ever once crossed my mind. Except for the Winter of our Missed Content, I bet there haven’t been a dozen days where I didn’t check the SDMB–not in seven years. I love the continuity–I’ve known these people for years, and it brings so much more context into the discussions.

However, there are reasons I’ve known these people for years, reasons that I have stuck around: I love that there is such a broad range of discussion–I’ve learned about things that I never would have pursued on my own. I love that we have such fabulous experts in things, I love that standards here for behavior are so high without it ever seeming stuffy.

Welcome DonutSprinkle. I hope you enjoy your stay at the dope and hopefully it will be a long stay.
I found the board after Reading through most of the Straight Dope Archive. I discovered a wonderful community of intelligent poster who discuss almost any topic. I have very eclectic tastes and this board really appealed to me. In fact it has been somewhat addicting.
I have seen other boards going back to the days of BBS and early IRC. This is the best board I have seen. Of course I do not like animations, busy margins, huge pictures and all the other crap you see on many boards. The Ads on non-intrusive and there are no pop-ups. The moderators do a great and under appreciated job keeping the board civil and the Trolls and Spammers to a minimum.
I enjoy reading the Great Debates and occasionally participating. Café is great to for talking movies, books and TV. If you have a question, there will usually be a good answer forthcoming shortly. If you like sports, the sports discussions here are intelligent and largely without the Rancor and cursing that you see almost anywhere else.


I enjoy this Board so much that the pay for post issue was a non-issue. I quoted our beloved Manda Jo because any Board that comes up with such a quietly witty way of accurately describing that…that…that…dark sad time in our universe is worth sticking around in.

Add to that the fact that an awful lot of Dopers get that pun . :slight_smile:


I paid up after being hounded to death by late night phone calls from Unca Cece, in varying degrees of sobriety, begging me to join.

complete and utter inability to live without it. Like many of the previous posters I was here before a charge. Very few days go by without a question flitting through my head that makes me think…“what would the Dopers say about that?”

Possibly there are free forums on the internet that approximate the level of conversation, knowledge and humor here, but I’m too damn lazy to hunt around for them.

[drunken slobber]I love you guys![/drunken slobber]

Except when we are dealing with the Yankees and their fans, of course. :smiley:

Well worth the coin. I spend more than the subscription price on a week’s supply of beer.

The opportunity to chat with a community smarter than me, but willing to accept, or at least tolorate me.

A word of caution: I hope you have a number of other responsibilities in life that will keep you away from the Dope for at least a few hours a day.

As a fairly new member, I sometimes wish I hadn’t joined, because too often I find it difficult to pull myself away to do something else. I signed up shortly after I lost my job, and I blame my Dope addiction, in part, for the fact that I’m still unemployed. That’s more my fault than the Dope’s, but I have never before been one of those “sit all night in front of the computer” types. I don’t IM or play MMPORG’s (or whatever that acronym is). But the Dope? Ah, the Dope is far too often my closest personal contact of the day. That’s just scary.

I came here at the recommendation of a friend, a years-long lurker (hi, Keef!) who told me that smarty-pants Lost fans could be found chatting around this virtual water-cooler. After reading Cafe Society obsessively for a few days, and blowing through a trial membership, I knew there was no way I could go back to just reading and not contributing.

The level of intelligence, wit and - praise Og! - spelling and grammar ability to be found here is unparalleled. I’ve learned a lot from Dopers’ expertise and opinions. It has forced me to write better, more cogent arguments so as not to embarass myself whilst discussing the nuances of American Idol and Britney Spears.

But seriously, it’s bad. If you look at the times of my posts…on second thought, don’t. Don’t do that.

I’d been lurking for about six months when Sampiro’s mother took ill, and I wanted to wish him condolances, only my guest membership had run out. I figured I’d been reading the Straight Dope for a couple of years, and I’d been lurking on the message board for six months, so I may be able to hold a candle to the people that posted here, so I figured, hey, why the hell not?

That, and $15 is only twice what I’d have paid for a “Hope your Momma gets well” card.


I got tired of that note popping up everytime I posted asking me if I wanted to pay. :stuck_out_tongue: It works you powers that be, it worked.

I was gonna correct your post. Surely you meant day’s supply? Rookie.

They started charging. I had been lurking for a long time and never bothered to join. The I figured I’d get in on the half price thing and I did do some posting, but not a whole lot, as you can see.

FWIW I get much more than my money’s worth here.

Did I mention the Beer Experts/Lovers/Home Brewers?
Tolkien Fanatics, Classic Car enthusiasts, Comic book guys (are there any comic book girls? I have never met one.), Trekkies and Trekkers, Language experts, Scientist, Programmers, Doctors, Lawyers and Bears Oh my.